I kept finding quotable bits and doing small mental jigs at the deadpan loveliness of them. Here's one early one:
"Sylvia opened her lunch bag to find that her mother had packed two pieces of bread with nothing between them. It was hard to think of new things to pack in a lunch day after day after day. Her mother had cracked under the pressure."
For the whole past year I've been wanting to write a post about the Promethian effort involved in concocting lunch every day, now that Mermaid Girl is no longer at her vegetarian-lunch-included preschool. About how I stay up late night after night, putting off the inevitable moment when I will have to drag out the loaf of bread and make one more fireplacing peanut-butter sandwich. About the boringness, the thanklessness, the hopelessness of coming up with anything new or original or even the least bit interesting to toss into the everpresent Hello Kitty lunchbox.
And Karen Joy Fowler has summed up the whole tragedy in three neat sentences.
I don't know whether to read the book again for sheer delight or whap myself over the head with it until I fall unconscious.